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Observing with Small Apertures: 130mm and Below

Discussion in 'Telescopes and Mounts' started by Ray of Light, Jul 26, 2016.

Observing with Small Apertures: 130mm and Below

Started by Ray of Light on Jul 26, 2016 at 5:34 AM

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  1. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    The UHC-E has arrived.

    UHC-E.jpg

    First impressions are that it is indeed less aggressive and has a better transmission percentage than the Baader UHC-S. Looking though it by hand it has a very nice turquoise - blue tint which looks like it will be very good for Jupiter or Saturn.

    UHC-E 2.jpg
    It looks very well made and I assumed the filter thread would be M28.5x0.6 as it seemed to suggest this on their site (don't be fooled by the green coloured appearance in the above jpeg lol).

    shot.png

    However, I've discovered it doesn't thread properly onto a lot of my eyepieces, which is a bit of a disappointment. I think this is important as I don't want anything falling off in the OTA. It fits well on anything Meade, GSO and Bresser, but not any Japanese ortho's or anything Vixen. It threads into all of the TeleVue 1.25" Plossls and TeleVue Barlows.

    TVx2 plus UHC-E.jpg

    So that's something, but it won't thread into my 19mm Panoptic or 14mm Baader Morpheus. As it works in the TV2x Barlow I can use 12mm, 11mm, 10mm and 8mm eyepieces to get 150x, 164x, 180x and 225x with the UHC-E. Which is what I'm using for Jupiter and Saturn at the moment.

    Astronomic UHC-E set.jpg

    It's the same story with any diagonals, some work, some don't. Although I don't intend to use it in a diagonal.

    Baader Astronomik UHC.jpg

    Compared to the Baader UHC-S above (the Baader is on the right). I'm going to hang on to the UHC-E rather than trying to sell it at a car boot sale or something as it could have potential. I doubt I'll buy any more Astronomik filters until the threads are more standardised though. The way the weather's looking I won't be able to test it on Jupiter any time soon.

    5mm SLV.jpg

    Plus, the 5mm SLV has come. All I need now is a tall telescope and a star to steer by, or something. That means no clouds!
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  2. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    An excellent review - thus far. I'll be waiting for the further adventures of the UHC-E. So far it looks like you've got a winner! And it's smoldering under my kindling - giving me the nasty 'ol 'Buy Me!' psychosis.....Again!

    Tomorrow's weather is for Sunny & upper-80's°F - and clear-skies tomorrow night, with a low temperature of 66°F. So I sure won't buy any astro-goodies for awile here, I won't jinx this deal! :D :eek:

    "Sailing to the 2nd. star to the right, and on to dawn!"- with apologies to Peter Pan


    er...Dave
     
  3. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Dave. It's a pity about the threads, but I can still use it with a lot of the gear I've got. If Baader and GSO can make stuff with M28.5x0.6 threads why can't everyone?

    It's raining here, and about 55° F. At least the rain can clear the atmosphere sometimes. Even if the transparency isn't brilliant, when it clears after rainfall sometimes the seeing can be really good.

    Guess I'll see.



    Be seeing you.
     
  4. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    Yes - a good, solid rain can carry down grit and other suspended airborne particulates with it - thus improving 'seeing' for us sopping-wet astronomy-nuts.....

    It's about 87°F. and clear & sunny as I type this. Perhaps well into the 90°F's tomorrow - with a chance of some T-Storms thrown in for good measure. Which is an event I LOVE! I've been hit by lightning before - but I think I've already told the tale to you somewhere down-the-line.

    I'm off to play now!

    Yee-Haw! A Big & Bright Yellow-Ball -

    Dave
     
  5. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I think it went as high as 65° F here for a while, it's nearly 22:00 BST and about 52° now. The forecast between 02:00 ~ 03:00 is for a clear sky and it looks like it's clearing slowly. There was a nice red sunset. Which according to shepherds is good: 'Red sky in the morning shepherd's warning, red sky at night shepherd's delight'. I don't know what makes shepherds experts on meteorology. Shepherds make great pies though.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepherd's_pie

    I don't know if they're made with real shepherds or some form of soya substitute.

    trifid.jpg

    It's also dawned on me that Saturn is in the vicinity of a lot of Messier Objects. So I'll try and test the UHC-E on some of them if I can, and Saturn probably. Unfortunately my 16mm T5 Nagler, 19mm Panoptic or 14mm Baader Morpheus have incompatible threads. So I'll use the 14mm and 9mm Bresser 5 element 60° 'Plossls' and an old Celestron 15mm Kellner which all work with the Astronomik. I've ordered a Revelation Superview as I'm pretty sure it's GSO and the filter threads on all my other GSO EP's fit the UHC-E. So the UHC-E should fit it.

    https://www.telescopehouse.com/eyep...evelation-superview-15-0mm-eyepiece-1-25.html

    I'll see I suppose. It's cheap enough though, I guess it's some form of Kellner.
     
  6. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    You read my mind: Shepard's Pie made with REAL Shepards!

    I know a 'neer-do-well' who became a shepard out in the Diné Lands (Navajo-people). He slept in a small tent he brought. And the young kids there used his tent for target-shooting with their bows & arrows. I asked him if this give him a little hint that he should leave - not everyong liked him - they called him 'The Smurf.'

    "Well I wasn't in mytent when they shot it full of arrows!" he said in a lame voice. "I wasn't in my tent at the time!" he defended himself by saying. Said I: "But they didn't know that, did they?"

    I asked him about his romantic life....."So you 'LIKE' Sheep, eh?" He told me how ugly they were, up close & personal.

    I gave up!

    Saturn is certainly in a rich area of sky alright. It will be most interested in what the UHC-E can do there. A real 'acid-test' I'd think.

    I just put my Vixen Porta 2 outside for a hopeful viewing - the 'first-light' for the mount - with my Maksutov. But now the clouds have rolled in! It was clear-as-a-bell. Now this! So mmy Mak is sitting indoors - ready to move out to the mount. And I'm watching Doppler-Radar maps in live-time.

    At least I have a good dinner coming when I feel life cooking. It's still too hot here to think about it though: 87°F.

    <snarl>

    Dave

    ps - I hope you have good skies & 'seeing' tonight! Tally ho!



    Vixen Porta II a (PNG).png
     
  7. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Occasionally sheep (and horses) would wander onto my old university campus, but it was half way up a Welsh mountain, so you'd kind of expect that. I didn't know any sheep that well but I think some of them got invited to some rave parties.

    Jupiter near transit.jpg

    I got a look at Jupiter when it was around transit. Eventually the clouds rolled in. The transparency wasn't good but the seeing was quite decent considering. I used the UHC-E at 164x compared to a Baader blue filter at 180x. I was actually quite impressed with the Astronomik filter. It does seem to suit apertures of around 5". I could see a fair amount of detail with it. I may try for Saturn and the Trifid later.
     
  8. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    My hopes and plans are sinking - I can't heft my 150mm Maksutov and hold stationary long enough to get it securely mounted on the Porta II. So I'm busy here - the gears of my mind are now firmly in the "Outside-The-Box" zone of consciousness.

    I feel like an Egytian of old - trying to plan the construction method for the Pyramid of King Tut.....

    Wish me luck, please. I'll accept all forms of help to 'Ride the Tiger' at this juncture.

    Maybe a large colony of Bats to lift the Mak and hold it.....

    Dave & Raul



    bat-inline.jpg
     
  9. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I don't know Dave, I find that if you can slip the dovetail in horizontally, so that the set screw holds the dovetail loosely, but not too loose that the OTA can fall out vertically, you can usually use your body to hold the OTA in the mount dovetail long enough to tighten the main set screw and the safety screw.

    You have to judge the amount you have to tighten the screw on the mount by trial and error. If you get it right you should be able to slide the OTA in and the screw should hold it. It will be loose in the horizontal plane and the vertical, and it will probably sag slightly in the mount dovetail, but if you judge it right it won't just fall out vertically.

    I tried the UHC-E on Jupiter again, then on Saturn. It's really good for Jupiter but it doesn't do so much for Saturn. It does make the rings appear very bright and contrasted though. It improves the Cassini Division slightly but doesn't really do much for surface detail. Titan was easy to see with it.

    I got a hint of the Lagoon Nebula at 64x with a 14mm Bresser 60° 'Plossl' and the UHC-E but I just couldn't see the Trifid, it was starting to get light though and the transparency wasn't too good. I compared it to the Baader UHC-S threaded on the 19mm Panoptic. The Lagoon seemed a bit more pronounced with the UHC-S but that could have been because of the lower magnification with the Panoptic (47x). The Astronomik certainly has a better transmission than the Baader and is easier to find things with as it gives a more natural view IMO.
     
  10. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tips on mounting a scope. My problem is more fundamental - my right-arm can't support weight to speak of, as the scapula (shoulder-bone) is broken and can separate! And that's too much pain, as well as prohibitive for healing. My current thinking is to attach the Mak with the mount, tripod, and Mak laying down. Then lift the whole thing up in one piece with my good arm. We shall see.....

    Curse you, Mak! You've got me hooked on that UHC-E-Filter! Surely my Baader UHC-S is still good for somethings, anythings? Ack! But you've certainly got an excellent review in the works. Once you feel you've got the BIG-PICTURE together, I'll look foreward to the consolidated thesis - Phd? Dr. Mak? :p

    It should give David Knisely a run for his money!

    Quasimodo - Dave
     
  11. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I used a similar idea when I first used the ST80 on the Porta II. I'd put a ground sheet down and lie the tripod/mount on its side, then slide the ST80 plus dovetail into it. I've been practising assembling the tripod and mount for the 235mm SCT today. That can be hard work for me, although I have gained a lot of range in the right arm and hand recently.

    I'd like another session on Jupiter with the UHC-E, unfortunately the clouds have other ideas. I may have to wait for the summer for more nebula hunting though. I think the UHC-E is a bit more flexible than the UHC-S but I doubt it replaces it.
     
  12. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    Be careful! Those BIG CATS can be a royal pain to move around - even with full physical abilities. I set-up a smooth bench leading outside for my 12" CAT. Then slide the scope/fork on this. That way I only need to heft the Monster up onto the tripod, and down again. Got a long, smooth bench handy? I bought one for cheap off Amazon - I think it was. It's stays outside and works great as a utility-bench for all kinds of astro-gear.

    I wonder how the Astronomik UHC-E and the CLS-Filter compare in their bandwidths.....I have the CLS - but now I'm curious!

    Drat my Filter-Fever!

    Dave



    astronomik_cls_trans.png
     
  13. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    A 12" cat isn't just big Dave, it falls into the sabre toothed tiger category lol. I have a collapsible bench. It can take the weight of the 9.25" Celestron OTA (8.4 kilo).

    a83f83ca-e6d1-462f-b197-0fb03691e4eb.jpg

    I think there are some differences between the two filters.
     
  14. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    I didn't realize the 'E' in 'UHC-E' stood for 'Economy.' Now I'm left wonder: 'What does the 'S' in the Baader 'UHC-S'? 'Maybe - 'Stupid?'

    Thanks for finding the wavelength-sheet on this. I'll toss that in my bandwidth-file.

    Later -

    Dave
     
  15. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the 'E' stands for El Cheapo? lol
     
  16. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    Well - I've priced the Astronomik UHC-E over here. Somewhere in the land of $62.95 is the 'el cheapo' price thus far. I'll keep looking - not ready to shoot myself and 'pull-the-trigger' on yet another round piece of glass. Still need to 'tangle-ass' with the Porta II and re-attaching it the tripod - I took the mount itself off the tripod for seating the Maksutov on it. So this part should be simple <he says, getting out his Kevlar®-suit>.

    Do you happen the have the one filter that only Lumicon is a source for: The SWAN (Comet)-Filter? If so, what are your impressions of it? Comet Johnson is the current Comet du Jour at this time. I've read and skimmed a few articles on this 'fuzzball' but none mentions the composition of the tail. If it's chiefly gaseous, then the SWAN would be an ideal thing to elucidate the critter.

    I'm also interested in the thoughts of those <few> people who've used the Schuler Venus-Filter, or 'Deep Purple' as I call these. Now being made/sold by Astrodon. I have one of the first Schuler-made one. And I've seen images showing enhanced contrast in the clouds of Venus (the 'Onion-Planet' - very difficult to skin!). But I'd love to hear reports - written - from the folks behind the camera. Regardless - these filters don't come cheap. They're quite costly in my view.

    I leave some Pdf.'s for amusement. Off to watch President Con-Artist try to get the King of Saudi Arabia to convert from Muslim to Catholic.....Pass the sandbags,

    Dave


    Schuler UV Venus Filter.pdf

    Lumicon Swan Band Comet Filter.pdf

    Swan Band.pdf

    Bummer! My photo's too large for the poor, malnourished server to handle. Maybe this forum needs a slot where we can deposit coins for extra-bandwidth...
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I've considered the Lumicon SWAN, it's a bit pricey though, about the equivalent of 211 USD here. It would need at least 200mm of aperture.

    label.jpg

    I finally found the Trifid with the UHC-E!

    lagoon trifid.jpg

    It's bloody faint though.

    trifid.jpg

    This rendition above is probably a lot better than I actually saw it (images SN7 & GIMP).

    Earlier I had another go with a setting Jupiter and the UHC-E. Got a nice view of Saturn near transit. The Baader Yellow 495nm longpass outperformed everything on Saturn, even a Wratten #11.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  18. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    I'd be satisfied by that result for the Trifid! Just a sidelong-glance (averted-vision, kids!) and you'd have bagged it visually in my book! Congratulations! Damn but you're driving me "into the weeds" regards my resisting to purchase one of these filters..... <grumble, snarl, gasp...>

    Good info on the Baader Yellow perhaps up-rooting the #11. Meanwhile...

    I ended-up rolling the mount-head - attached already to the 150mm Maksutov - onto it's side with the bottom of the mount-head facing straight up. Then I took the tripod - with the legs together to make it a thinner shaft - and positioned the tripod right over the facing-up bottom of the mount. Once I had the tripod, with the center-bolt extended, seated on the bolt-hole at dead-center, I screwed the center-bolt all the way tight onto the mount-head. Ta! Da!

    Then I lifted the whole thing up & over with legs extended. With the legs folded-down to make it as short as possible.

    So if you know any one-armed astronomy-knutz, you can merrily pass this method onto them! :p

    I went and double-checked all my connections, cleaned the OTA of the Mak 150, and tossed in a laser to check the collimation. Of course - it didn't mind it's little excursion one 'Fiddlers' Flatulence' - both straight-thru and with my 1.25" GSO Dielectric 90° Diagonal - very 'reasonebly-priced' from the sponsor of these forums - AgenaAstro @$69. As of this date. That's a bargain - really!

    It can withstand most any shock or bang - in case you live somewhere with a chance of Panzers firing live artillery-rounds at your favorite nighttime viewing location. Like Washington, D.C. :eek:

    Yes - the SWAN's don't come cheap. But as it's the only source for these, except a find in the 'Used' sections about the USA & others, Lumicon can charge whatever they see fit. But having studied-up on what all goes into these little glass-thingies, I'd see they're pretty reasonable. I'm glad I copied those notes from the night in RowdyFights (CN) I interviewed one of the new owners of Lumicon! Remember the time you wanted to ask all those questions about the intentions of the new owner of Lumicon? I'm glad you did!!

    And I didn't even have to use my 'Whip & A Chair!'

    Regards needing at least a 200mm telescope for the SWAN-Filter - I don't buy into that. You might not get a brilliant, glow-in-the-dark image with a smaller instrument, if you can see any variations to the detail of the tail of a comet, I'd be happy! Just that would tell me a story about the make-up on the comet: Gaseous or not? Extent of tail (detected)? So forth. Not perfect, textbook images - but enough data to merit hauling out the "BIG GUNS." Or leaving the proverbial 'sleeping dog to lie.' If it wasn't for a good-sized cadre of us folks with small telescopes, and the concern to NOT be concerned with 'accepted norms,' we'd still think filters won't work at all unless you have a BIG Telescope of at least 200mm at a minimum! Since then - we've come a long way: Including outfits like Astronomik and Baader and Lumicon drop these 'WARNINGS!' to not buy if you don't meet this milestone. And we're also seeing far more varieties of filters available - to include the UHC-E from Astronomik and the UHC-S from Baader.

    "We've Come A Long Way, Baby!"

    If you lived down the proverbial Lane - I'd loan you my SWAN! Ditto for the 'Deep Purple' Schuler Venus-Filter (now made through and branded by Astrodon). I find the 'minimum' argument: Quaint. But that's my opinion - of course I also was of the opinion that 'The Wicked-Witch of the West' was cuter than Dorothy! And her 'Little Dog' Too!

    On that note.....

    Raul & Dave


    photo-11568.jpg
    She's Mine! All Mine!
     
  19. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't easy observing the Trifid, although it's one of my favourites so I'm pretty good at finding it. It's easier to see in late summer. Anywhere in the south around the plane of the ecliptic is pretty convenient for me with the Bazooka. It's quite a rich area for DSO's at times.

    It might have been the conditions, but the Baader Yellow filter definitely improved detail better than anything else, including the Neodymium and the Baader Green 500nm bandpass.

    When it comes to one armed assembly of stuff I think I could write a book lol. I've had to invent loads of different ways to put stuff together. I often rehearse strategies beforehand, sometimes they even work lol.

    I may splash out on the SWAN but I'll wait until I've got bigger scopes up and running just in case. I've got too much expensive gear, including filters, sitting unused in their cases. At least the UHC-E and the UHC-S were designed with scopes smaller than 200mm in mind.

    SuperView (2).jpg

    The Revelation (GSO) 15mm SuperView looks promising. The UHC-E fits it, like it fits every other GSO eyepiece I have. GSO have taken the undercuts off these now but this one has a flared lower lip, TeleVue style, so it should be OK. The 15mm version could well be a Bertele design as it has 4 elements in 3 groups, although the rest of the series are probably Erfles of some sort.

    SuperView (3).jpg

    It's a bit like a budget Panoptic, at 28 quid it's eight times cheaper than the Panoptic! Obviously it can't really be compared with the 19mm TV (which is one of my all time favourites) but it seems pretty decent for the money.

    susan oliver.jpg

    Zeta Reticulan astronomer extolling the virtues of the Celestron C8!
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  20. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I observed Jupiter from about 21:30 BST to around 23:45 when I lost the transparency. I used two magnifications (180x and 200x) with a variety of eyepieces and filters.

    jup1.jpg

    A 5mm TS Optics Planetary HR, 9mm GSO Plossl, 10mm Baader Eudiascopic, TeleVue 2x Barlow and a 5mm Vixen SLV. Filters were: Wratten #8 Light Yellow, UHC-E, Baader Blue 470nm and Yellow 495nm.

    Io Shadow.jpg

    The transparency was intermittently good but the overall seeing was superb. I started off in twilight with the #8 as it’s supposed to be good with polar detail. It did reveal a tiny bit in the north, although no more than the UHC-E.

    Io Shadow sn7.jpg

    Again, the real star was the Yellow 495nm. At around 23:00, with the Baader Yellow filter, I could distinctly see what looked like two moon shadows slowly track around the planet. I’m pretty sure I was seeing Io and its shadow. I tried other filters but the Yellow filter showed these so well.

    Images ~ Stellarium, Cartes du Ciel and Starry Night 7.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017

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